Perfume Reviews

Positive Reviews of H24 by Hermès

Total Reviews: 2
Somehow I feel compelled to like Hermès H24 (2021) right away, but like most things that greet me with an overtly friendly smile, I force myself to remain aloof just for a bit and to wait for how their true personality unfolds after they get more comfortable. Indeed, H24 presents itself as a "high-tech fougère consisting of three vegetal elements" and then name-drops sage, narcissus, and rosewood as it's only notes, so I am made wary despite my usual openness to futuristic synthetic abstraction a la Calvin Klein. Early testers also claim this smells like something straight out of the 90's, but as someone with a fair amount of 90's fragrances in my collection, I'd have to disagree with that assessment. Christine Nagel has indeed made a high-tech scent here, as most of my review going forward has me breaking down aromachemicals rather than traditional notes, making this write-up feel especially rote, but bear with me. Perhaps the most interesting thing about H24 is how it takes current trends towards sweet-ish ambroxan-powered "blue" masculines and turns them on their head, doubling down on the classic green masculine themes that made Terre d'Hermès (2006) so standout in an ocean of aquatics during its own launch 15 years prior. Hermès like Chanel still marches to the beat of its own drum, and that can only be a good thing to me. Will this succeed the oft-copied Terre d'Hermès as the mainstay of the Hermès masculine lineup? Probably not, as H24 reads as the Creed Viking (2017) to Terre d'Hermès' Creed Aventus (2010), if we're making analogies.

The opening of H24 has something a bit fruity and sharply aldehydic, which is perhaps where the 90's comparisons come from. Limonenes, citral, citronellol, and farnesol are basically responsible for a brief fruity lemon verbena feel alongside some trace naturals to support it, while saliclyclates, galbanum, vetiveryl acetate, and alpha-isomethyl ionone are here to bring the green grassy floral aspects of the narcissus note, while sage is represented dryly by sclarene, with the same metallic mineralic note found in Terre d'Hermès making a return. Geraniol and eugenol are listed in the ingredients, so a bit of that metallic feel comes from the former, while the eugenol is likely for a clove-like effect that joins the trace amounts of oakmoss and linalool to represent the rosewood, and what feels like a sliver of modern woody-amber aromachem. Which aromachem this is I can't say because the doseage is so low (which is what's proper for materials like this), but that slight scratchy warmth is there nonetheless. On the whole this smells nice, green, and transparent as if Nagel is still channeling Jean-Claude Ellena, but I like it enough to want a bottle. Wear time will take you through a work day at 10 hours but projection is about medium since this is so sharp and ethereal overall. You'll catch pangs of the metallic elements all day. No patchouli means H24 will definitely feel safer for the office than Terre d'Hermès ever could, and H24 is punchy enough to survive the cold but fresh enough for heat, making it a good choice in all situations except romantic ones where a sweeter or spicier scent would work better.

The lack of lavender for me stretches the definition of fougère here in the same way Creed Green Irish Tweed (1985) also does by calling itself one despite not including it, although that is a nitpick on my part. I like H24 but I admit my initial excitement based on the hyperbolic reactions of others (those damned YouTube shills haha) was brought down a few pegs once the dry down hit, and not because it's a bad dry down, but just because it's the "business as usual" dry down you expect from the generally-transparent Hermès house style, which has really ceased to be about leather like the old days and become more about chasing Jean-Claude Ellena's mojo like Austin Powers escaped from his cryogenic pod again. I mean fine, if Nagel wants to intermittently live in the shadow of a previous house perfumer, at least she does it well and doesn't pull a Sammy Hagar by trying to re-invent the entire vibe of the outfit when she filled vacant shoes, opting graciously for maintaining consistency instead. I think people who miss Creed Vetiver Geranium (2014) are probably the best candidates to adopt H24 as a replacement or adjunct to it. As for where this leaves hardcore Hermès fans, I don't know, as most of them clocked out after Terre d'Hermès released and some are even still stuck on Bel Ami (1986), never making it past rejecting Rocabar (1998) as the then-new Hermès male direction. My suggestion is keep an open mind when sampling H24, and if the cyberpunk fougère theme in the drab metal-shouldered bottle fits your vibe, then pull the trigger on one. Thumbs up.
09th March, 2021 (last edited: 13th March, 2021)
TLDR: Rating: Good (3.8/5). Mild up-thumb.

After 2 partial day wearings from a full bottle, I am cautiously optimistic about H24: this line will probably eventually give rise to a very special fragrance. But this first H24 release is not a special scent.

This scent is a minimalistic green aromatic with citrus and metallic notes. It bucks current designer trends and seems an almost perfectly calculated office scent. (If we ever get back to a society where offices are again a thing, this fragrance might become popular with folks who are tired of the blue/aquatic inoffensive blandness of the pre-pandemic blockbuster workplace scents.)

This product is the embodiment of tasteful restraint. There is nothing here to dislike, although the "frag bros" will fault H24 for lack of "beastliness". Those of us who will celebrate the bros' frustrations will mostly like it, but will not find anything compelling enough in this scent to move us to love.

I cannot join the voices I've heard who celebrate H24 for being challenging because it is not. Rather,it is bland and inoffensive in a different way than most bland and inoffensive scents. The publicized metallic note is mildly interesting and works well with the grapefruit opening which it follows in the scent's progression. The light floral note is not as successfully integrated into the composition.

The base here is a pleasant enough melange of woods made just a little bit atypical by the metal of the Sclarene. I think the metallic notes push this one into the more masculine side of the ever-blurring gender divide, but it is nearly unisex and I am sure there will be women who choose to wear and enjoy H24.

Siliage is minimal and longevity is just under 8 hours on my skin, the last 2.5 hours of which are essentially as a skin scent.

Perhaps in the summer, the season for which I think this fragrance is best suited, additional nuances will emerge from this juice, but as I wear this version of H24, I cynically believe the more intense formulation(s) is (are) already awaiting release as the weather gets cooler in the northern latitudes. The flankers almost suggest themselves: "Intense Metal", "Eau Tres Fraiche" or "H24 Cologne", anyone? I suppose that original formulations designed to support flankers is the landscape on which the entire designer industry now walks, for better or worse. But after 15 years, perhaps we were entitled to expect a bit more confidence and daring from a house that last gave us the celebrated Terre.

In any event, this one is nice enough for what it is and gets a mild thumbs up from me particularly because this scent is atypical enough to be of at least some interest for many fans of designer fragrances.

Presentation is fine, but not special. The bottles are not distinctive, but they are well executed and tastefully restrained--just like everything about H24. Ultimately, Hermes played it safe here, which is a shame because a bit more confident risk taking in the direction they have moved with H24 could have given us all something great.
03rd March, 2021